Tag Archives: BFI

End of the BFI as we know it?

Let’s have no illusions. It was probably inevitable. The government has announced plans for a merger of the BFI and the Film Council [UKFC]. As The Guardian has it, ‘The British film landscape could be facing its biggest upheaval in almost a decade…’ That is to say, since the Film Council was set up in 2000, to oversee and administer UK film policy, including responsibility for providing the BFI’s grant-in-aid. In all likelihood, what will happen now is the final subordination of the BFI’s cultural remit (which dates back to 1933) to the commercial interests that the Film Council effectively represents. Time Out has described the Film Council as ‘‘heavily geared towards optimising conditions for the commercial success of the British film industry’ (8-14 August 2007). As Ian Christie told the Independent Film Parliament, held in Cambridge in 2003, ‘The people running British cinema are not perceived as having a cultural stake in cinema at all, let alone a vision of British cinema per se. Rightly or wrongly, they are perceived as being in the pockets of the American majors, or at least their boutique divisions.’ Continue reading